Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Apple announces iPhone 5S with bells and whistles

Apple always releases an iPhone with 'S' at the end of it once every couple of years and thus, this year, the Cupertino giant was expected to announce iPhone 5S too apart from iPhone 5C during today's event which took place at their Cupertino Headquarters and they have done just that.

As it can be seen, iPhone 5S looks exactly as iPhone 5 used to look like but don't get fooled as Apple has taught it some clever new tricks on the new side to set it apart from the crowd.

It now comes with the new A7 processing unit which is supposed to double the processing and graphics power when compared to its predecessor, iPhone 5. The biggest change in case of CPU is that Apple has become the first company in the world with the new iPhone 5S to incoporate a 64-bit processing CPU into their smartphone. It also supports OpenGL | ES 3.0.

Apple has also put in a whole new M7 motion processing chip which measures the accelerometer, compass, and gyroscope readings which means it can easily tell if you are walking, driving, at rest etc which turn means that iPhone 5S can support a whole new generation of motion, health and fitness applications like Nike+ Move Apple showcased during its presentation. 

In Camera department, although Apple has kept the camera at 8 MP but they have done some changes to make the whole experience a better one. First of all, they have changed the aperture size from F2.4 in iPhone 5 to F2.2 in this one which in turn means 15% increase in surface area that it can cover in a single photograph. Then they have changed the size of pixels to 1.5 microns as bigger pixels and bigger aperture contribute to a better photograph in conditions of challenging light. Secondly, Apple has introduced, what they are calling, a "True Tone" flash for the new iPhone 5S. Instead of a single white colored flash, Apple has incorporated iPhone 5S with dual flash - one being of colder hue and the other having a warmer, amber tone. When a user exploits the feature of flash, instead of just one cold flash iPhone 5S balances between both the flashes depending on the tone of the environment which results in photos of better colors and tones.

To showcase the effectiveness of this new feature, Apple compared two photos of similar subject and conditions side by side and the skin tone and contrast is definitely much better with the "True Tone" feature.

As you must have noticed, Apple has also taught iPhone 5S how to handle automatic Image stabilization. The way it works is it takes multiple photos, combines them for light levels, but picks the one with best qualities of contrast and color tones. iPhone 5S also supports slo-mo feature for the first time. It takes HD (720p) videos at 120 fps. It also has a new burst mode with capabilities of 10 fps shooting and the iPhone compares each of them in real time and suggests you to keep the one it thinks is best of the lot. The Panorama feature has got a facelift as well. It would reach up to 28MP as before but now the exposure settings will adjust automatically as you pan with the phone instead of being fixed on the initial values liked it used to happen in the iPhone 5.

Now comes the department of security in which, by the way, Apple has now left every other company behind by incorporating fingerprint sensor based locking feature coined as "Touch ID". The sensor is embedded into the Home Button, as it was speculated, and is 170 microns thin, senses 500 ppi and scans your sub-epidermal skin layers. Certainly, the Touch ID feature allows you to log in to your device much more easily and it can be used to buy apps in iTunes, instead of the password, as well. Also, a single device can be set up to have successfully authentication with more then one fingerprints and the best thing is these fingerprints are encrypted and stored into the A7 processor - there is no storage on the device or in the cloud - which should make it next to impossible to crack. As expected, this feature is only exclusive to the iPhone 5S. It has a "detection ring" fashioned out of sapphire crystal which turns on the Touch ID sensor when required.

It is being claimed to have better battery life then iPhone 5. Also, it now comes with the largest support for LTE bands all over the world so that it can support all the carriers, even the ones going with TD-LTE like in India and Chine. To know more about the bands iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C support, click here. It will ship with iOS 7 which is supposed to be available from September 18 for people to download. iPhone 5S will come in 3 colors - white, space grey and the golden one as well.

This progressive piece of beauty will retail for 199$ for the 16 GB version, 299$ for the 32 GB version and 399 $ for the 64 GB version. The contract-free prices are yet to be revealed. It will go up for pre-order along with its sibling, iPhone 5C, on September 13 and be in market on September 20. For the first wave of retail availabiliy, Apple has decided upon USA, U.K., Japan, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany and Hong Kong but they are targeting to reach more then 100 countries by the end of this calender year. Also, as expected, iPhone 5 has been discontinued along with iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S is now being offered for free of cost with the contract in a 8 GB version.

So, as it turns out, Apple has come up with some pretty neat and useful new features with this new iPhone which also give it a new sense of uniqueness in the smartphone world. Although only time will tell the place it will make in the hearts of the consumers all around the world but its safe to say Apple has done an amazing job in luring the people towards itself with some pretty nifty new features.


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